2021 Silverado 2500HD New Car Test Drive
Among American vehicles, growing bigger has long been considered almost equivalent to becoming better. Nowhere is this attitude more prevalent than in the heavy-duty, full-size pickup truck market. As a result, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD has been fully redesigned.
The Silverado 2500HD looks bigger, feels bigger, and can tow more. Cargo beds are wider, and bed steps are among the best to be found. And although the three-quarter-ton Silverado 2500HD is intended for work and towing duties, quite a few double as a family car for everyday tasks.
Big pickups come in a bewildering variety of configurations and variants. Chevy offers the Silverado 2500HD in five trim levels: Work Truck (WT), LT, Custom, LTZ, and High Country. The High Country comes only in crew-cab form. Other trim levels may have a regular cab with two doors, a double cab with rear half-doors, or a crew cab with four full-size doors.
Cargo beds may be either standard length (82.25 inches) or long (98.27 inches). Rear-wheel drive is standard on all but the High Country, but four-wheel drive is available across the rest of the lineup.
Buyers can choose from two engines, both providing staggering output. The 6.6-liter V-8 develops 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque, mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
For the most herculean takes, a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8, generating 445 hp and a startling 910 lb-ft of torque (at a low 1,600 rpm) is teamed with an Allison 10-speed automatic. A gigantic (28-inch) fan helps cool the massive diesel engine. Substituting the turbodiesel engine adds about $10,000.
No fuel economy data is available because the EPA doesn't require heavy-duty trucks to meet their standards. Inevitably, diesels are more efficient on the highway. A 36-gallon fuel tank in crew-cab models should stretch out stops for fill-ups.
Crash testing hasn't been performed on the redesigned Silverado 2500HD. Its 2019 predecessor got some worrisome ratings from the NHTSA, including a troubling three-star score in frontal collision. The IIHS doesn't test heavy-duty trucks.
Standard active safety features are absent from Chevy's heavy-duty trucks. An optional safety package can add blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-change alerts. On upper trim levels, another package with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, forward-collision warnings, and automatic high-beam headlights becomes available. An advanced trailering system uses up to eight cameras to project 15 distinct camera angles.
The Chevy Silverado 2500HD is available in five trim levels: WT, LT, Custom, LTZ, and High Country. Prices include a $1,595 destination charge.
The WT starts at $35,695 and comes with a 40/20/40-split front bench seat and no rear seat. Other standard features include vinyl floor covering, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and 17-inch steel wheels.
The $39,595 LT adds cloth seating, remote keyless entry, an EZ Lift tailgate, cruise control, carpeting, wi-fi hot spot capability, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The new Custom trim starts at $40,995. It's equipped with 20-inch wheels, exclusive body-color trim, and LED taillights. The diesel engine isn't available on this trim.
The $50,695 LTZ trim level gets perforated leather front seat upholstery, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, keyless ignition, under-seat storage, 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, and vertical power trailering mirrors,
Topping the lineup, the High Country costs $63,195 and comes exclusively with four-wheel drive. It also includes 20-inch wheels, LED bed lighting, a power up/down tailgate, cooled front seats, navigation, and a Bose premium audio system.